Trail Blazers’ superstar Damian Lillard thinks his consistency is overlooked
The NBA is living in a golden age of point guards, from Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors to Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder. In a recent interview with CGTN, Portland Trail Blazers’ superstar Damian Lillard opened up about his place among his peers and the apparent disrespect he seems to be receiving:
“How steady I am and how consistent I do what I do at a high level kind of gets overlooked sometimes.”
Last season, Lillard made his first Western Conference All-Star team since 2015 despite averaging 27.0 and 25.1 points in each of the previous two seasons:
“That’s been one of the hardest things, to keep doing it over and over, even when it’s not respected the way it should be.”
This season, he received some well-deserved recognition, earning All-NBA First Team honors after leading the Trail Blazers to a top three finish in a highly competitive Western Conference, highlighted by a 13-game winning streak.
In the interview, Lillard also talked about the mentality and experiences that made him one of the most clutch players in the league.
“I can’t think of one time, but I’ve had a lot of moments where something just didn’t go my way at the time that I needed it to in a game. It just made me not fear what the outcome would be.”
“I remember in the eighth grade I had a game winning shot. I think we were down by two. I hit a three-pointer with one second left and I took my jersey off and started celebrating. It was one second left and I got tech and the other team got two free throws. We ended up losing the game by one and that was the worst thing that could ever happen.”
“I think it just made me more calm in those situations and it just going to be what it’s going to be.”
This chip on his shoulder mentality is what keeps Lillard and other top players in the league motivated to do the special things that they do day in and day out.